City unveils

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 16, 2017


NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez last week launched its official health and wellness website,

The website aims to provide health education resources, list upcoming health-related events in in the area and encourage a healthy lifestyle via diet and exercise.

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Getty Israel, director of the Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention Program (DHDPP), said the website brings the area a step forward to “changing the culture” of health in Adams County.

“What we’re trying to get people to do is change behavior — and what I mean is to help them stop smoking, eat healthy and exercise,” Israel said.

The website states approximately 16 percent of Adams County residents are diabetic, with black women affected most by the disease. The site also says diabetics are at least twice as likely as non-diabetics to develop heart disease or suffer a stroke.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicate 9.3 percent of the national population and 11.9 percent of Mississippi’s population are diabetic.

The website, Israel said, would benefit the community through consistent education and promotion of a healthy lifestyle, helping to make physical wellness a “way of life” for members of the community.

Israel emphasized that the website would not provide information about drug therapies or surgeries, which she said are ineffective mechanisms for improving health. Rather, the site’s resources mostly pertain to diet and exercise solutions.

Though the website is meant to inform the entire community, it serves a special function for the more than 100 participants of the DHDPP, hosted by Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

The program, currently in its second year, began mid-May. will allow participants — at least those with Internet access — to monitor their progress throughout the program’s duration.

“They can check their data, see their progress and report their physical activities each week,” Israel said.

Each receiving a unique username, participants will see graphs that display body weight, waist circumference and blood pressure, all of which program coordinators keep track of throughout the year.

Israel said participants would begin using the website, which is fully funded by the Humana Foundation, next week. She also said participants lacking Internet access have manual alternatives to track their progress.

Though the website’s health events calendar was empty as of Wednesday afternoon, Israel said the site would post any events promoting health and well being within the county.

Israel also encouraged individuals or organizations providing any health services, including schools, clinics and hospitals, to consider implementing the Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention program.

Israel asked affiliates of these types of institutions interested in the DHDPP to contact her at 601-487-6894.